God knows who we really are—sinners by nature and practice. Before salvation, we were actively rebelling against His authority and pursuing our own way. Yet He loved us so much that He sent His Son to sacrifice His life in payment for the sin debt we owed (John 3:16). God’s love for us is a compelling reason to obey Him in all things.
Christ demonstrated what a life of obedience looks like. He regularly withdrew from the crowds to spend time in prayer and thereby discover God’s will. Jesus sought to please His Father in everything He did—and wanted the world to recognize that to obey demonstrates love (John 14:31).
Both the Old and New Testaments provide examples of this principle. David lived an imperfect life, but God knew the king was wholeheartedly committed to Him (1 Kings 15:5). David declared, “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8). And the apostle Paul was single-minded for Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). However, before his conversion, he persecuted Jewish believers (1 Cor. 15:9).
These two men experienced God’s forgiving love firsthand, which motivated them to actively pursue His will. And our heavenly Father knows that none of us can live perfectly, so He wants His children to let the Holy Spirit help them obey.
A life of obedience requires a mind that is focused on the Lord and His plan, a heart committed to following Him, and a will that is surrendered to His authority. It consists of many daily decisions to deny self, resist temptation, and choose His way. How strong is your desire to carry out His will?
Dr. Charles Stanley